Calimmune - A case study from the innovator and investor perspective
Calimmune, Inc. (acquired by CSL Limited in 2017) is the 2018 Arizona
Bioscience Company of the Year.
Louis Breton is the former CEO of Calimmune, Inc., a gene therapy
development company he co-founded with Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore,
which was recently acquired by CSL Behring.
Calimmune focused on liberating patients from chronic and currently
incurable diseases. Mr. Breton is a
husband, father, Chaplain, inventor, author, mentor, serial entrepreneur and
is involved in local charities. He has
a career in biotechnology spanning more than 2 decades. He has now built and successfully sold 3
life science focused companies, including a biotech consulting firm. He has raised more than $100M for the
companies he has launched, and has conducted approximately 500 licensing
deals with academic and government institutions. He has established international
subsidiaries, negotiated with global regulatory bodies, and has collaborated
with ministries of health of multiple governments. He has been intimately involved in more
than 20 different product launches. He
has been a board member of 12 biotech and high tech companies, and was a
Business Advisory Council member for a sitting president. Mr. Breton has presented to the House of
Lords, and participated in a special conference at the Vatican to bridge
faith and science. In the last decade,
he has helped to craft a new paradigm for the delivery of stem cell gene
therapy and regenerative medicine, and is now taking on the esteemed roles of
chauffer, Dance Dad, swim instructor, baby sitter and courier.
Harry George, President and CFO, Radiance Therapeutics, Inc.
For over four decades, Harry George has been starting, funding, and
operating rapid-growth technology companies.
In 1995, Harry co-founded Solstice Capital, an early-stage venture
capital firm with offices in Boston and Tucson, which raised $80M in two
funds. Solstice was active until 2015
and invested in 44 companies that generated positive returns for both
funds. In 1981, prior to Solstice,
Harry was the co-founder, a director and the CFO of Interleaf, Inc., a
pioneer in electronic publishing.
Interleaf was the seventh-fastest growing private company in the US
for a five-year period and went public in 1986 with 800 employees. In January
of 2000, Interleaf was acquired by BroadVision for $900M. Before Interleaf,
in 1973, Harry was a co-founder, a director and the CFO of Kurzweil Computer
Products, the leader in optical character recognition and early use of
AI. Mr. George has served on 26
boards for both public and private companies.
He is currently serving on the boards of HTGMolecular, Medipacs,
PostBidShip, RxActuator, Medipacs, Radiance and Splash Pharmaceuticals. Mr.
George has been active in a number of community organizations and has served
as Treasurer of both the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Tucson Museum
of Art. He is currently a board member of the Southern Arizona Leadership
Council and, earlier, helped start Tucson’s Desert Angels and Start-up
Tucson. Mr. George graduated from
Bowdoin College and was given an Honorary Doctor of Science from the U of A
Moderator: John M. (Jock)
Holliman, III, Valley Ventures;
Executive Chairman at LipimetiX Development and Capstone
Therapeutics. Since February 1993,
Jock has been a general partner of entities, which are the general partners
of Valley Ventures, LP (formerly known as Arizona Growth Partners, LP),
Valley Ventures II, LP, Valley Ventures III Annex, LP, all of which are
venture capital funds that invest principally in life science companies. He also serves in an executive capacity at
Capstone Therapeutics, Inc. He became Executive Chairman and Principal
Executive Officer of Capstone on April 5, 2006 and has served as a director
of the company since September 1987 and as Chairman of the Board of Directors
since August 1997.